You can’t move an inch these days without encountering another story about how vinyl is rising from the ashes to reclaim its proper place at the top of the music-format food chain. And the numbers certainly seem to suggest there’s some truth to that notion. You may have also heard about the increased demand being put upon the few vinyl processing plants left. But a story in the New York Times has shed some light on one of the most prolific producers of vinyl on the planet, and it’s not what you might have expected.
It turns out a tiny village called Lodenice in the Czech Republic is the home of GZ Media. Run by Zdenek Pelc for the last 33 years, the company has weathered the rise and fall of everything from CDs to communism, mostly due to Pelc’s dogged determination to keep vinyl alive, at least in his little corner of the world.
“Frankly, if someone had told me back then that vinyl would return, I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said. “Vinyl rose from the ashes.”
Today, with the resurgence of the format, GZ, which is currently operating on a 24/7 schedule to meet demand, has become one of the biggest pressing plants around. To give you some point of reference, the company currently boasts 49 presses, which include half a dozen new ones custom-made for GZ, which are apparently the first new machines made for vinyl in decades. So don’t let anybody tell you the record revolution hasn’t gone global.
The vinyl record is having a very weird moment right now where it’s hard to tell if it’s coming or going. While sales are up at a high not seen since the ‘80s, there’s still the issue of not enough record plants existing in the world to meet the demand, not to mention the recent bankruptcy of turntable and mixer manufacturer, Vestax.
If you’re an enthusiast of the wax, however, there’s now a new option for getting your music on the turntable – press it yourself.
For around $7,000 Australian, you can get a Desktop Record Cutter, and press all the vinyl you want in the comfort of your own home. According it its developers, the DRC uses “precision engineered technology for ease of use, [for new cutters], whilst allowing custom control, upgrades and modification for the experienced engineer.” That sounds like it’s going to be pretty easy to use, and a possible solution to the headache of dealing with traditional distributors and pressing plants.
For more information, you can check out the DRC’s Kickstarter page, where they’ve already tripled its goal, so this is definitely happening, and may end up being the answer that vinyl-loving musicians and producers have been hoping for.
[via Music Radar]
Here’s a holiday gift to consider for the DJ/vinyl aficionado in your life: Daft Punk’s two live albums, Alive 1997 and Alive 2007, will be released by Rhino Records for the first time on double vinyl on December 23, 2014. Concurrently, the French duo will issue a sprawling limited edition box set featuring the following:
2 solid white vinyls, plus a vinyl bonus (Side A: the show’s encore (human after all / together / one more time (reprise) / music sounds better with you) /Side B: ‘ALIVE 2007’ pyramid logo etched), a 52 page book (pictures taken during the shows), a slipmat and a download card. A silver vinyl edition of Daft Punk’s first live album, ‘ALIVE 1997’, will accompany them.
A quick scan of Amazon reveals the box set is selling for $119.99. Not cheap, but definitely within reach for anyone who calls themselves a Daft Punk collector.
Audiophiles rejoice! Techno aficionado Roberto is launching a new label that is putting sound quality into the forefront. Fossil Archive will be the DJ’s new home after having released killer singles on Fachwerk, Affin, Artform and Be As One for years,. With his new venture, he’ll be delving into the essence of why so many listeners prefer vinyl.
“I come from a background where most releases were traditionally cut at 45rpm, with one track per side on a 12-inch record,” says Roberto. “The music always sounded great, as it was mastered and cut to its highest potential. Increasingly, these days there seems to be a trend where a lot of labels are squeezing a number of tracks onto each side of a 12-inch record. I want to go against that and make sure the music is presented in the purest way possible by cutting one track per side at 45rpm.”
As awesome as it is to hear tracks on crispy 7-inches, Roberto’s not making the Fossil’s output exclusively about the wax.
“The label will release primarily vinyl, although digital versions will also be available to purchase.”
So, everyone goes home happy. Fossil Archive’s inaugural release, “’Prolecanites Gurleyi” will be out February 23.
While much has been made in the media about the resurgence of vinyl in recent years, indie music shops — especially ones that carry wax — have been quietly holding their own for years in Japan. A culture that appreciates sonic quality and the fine art of package design, an excursion to a record shop in the Land of the Rising Sun rails against the digital music revolution that changed the entire music industry. Pay a visit to one and you’ll see salarymen on their lunch breaks, corporate IDs tucked inside their shirt pockets, digging through stacks in search of new jams and rare nuggets.
One of Tokyo’s finest vinyl emporiums is Technique Records. Located in Shibuya on the second floor of 33-14 Udagawacho, a side street off the main street called Dogenzaka, Technique Records is a haven for techno and house DJs and enthusiasts. Carrying an amazing selection of new and used vinyl, the shop’s selection is incredible.
The first thing that strikes you upon entering the well organized store are the walls. They’re adorned with autographed white record sleeves from an array of world-class DJs such as Move D.
“Thank you Technique for keeping vinyl alive,” reads an inscription from Boys Noize.
Major label Warner Bros. Records has re-launched becausesoundmatters.com, a retail site offering a selection of the label’s releases on vinyl as well as T-shirts. The latest iteration of the shop is now optimized for mobile and boasts updated navigation. While the site’s offerings are geared toward rock and mainstream bands, the array of offerings are still pretty tantalizing for those who appreciate all things wax. A 15% store-wide for Black Friday weekend (November 29th through December 1st) with an additional 10% off discount code to e-mail subscribers is going on right now.
Beginning December 2nd, Cyber Monday, the site kicks off 12 days of flash sales with Neil Young’s Harvest, and other select titles available for 30% off.
December Sales events feature 30% off the following titles:
Dec 2: Neil Young – “Harvest” – 140 gram vinyl
Dec 3: The White Stripes – “The White Stripes” – 180 gram vinyl
Dec 4: Devo – “New Traditionalist” – Clear vinyl
Dec 5: Eric Clapton – “Blues” (5 LP Box Set) – 180 gram vinyl w/ Litho
Dec 6: The Punch Brothers – “Antifogmatic” w/ bonus CD
Dec 9: Red Hot Chili Peppers – “One Hot Minute” – Red vinyl & lenticular cover
Dec 10: Lindsey Buckingham – “Gift of Screws” – 140 gram vinyl
Dec 11: Dire Straits – “Communique” – 180 gram vinyl
Dec 12: Head Automatica “Decadence” – 140 gram vinyl
Dec 13: “The Flaming Lips And Stardeath And White Dwarfs With
Henry Rollings and Peaches Doing The Dark Side Of The Moon”
– 140g gram clear vinyl disc w/ bonus CD
Dec 17: Neil Young with The International Harvesters – “A Treasure” (2 LP set) – 140 gram vinyl w/ download